Catch the Flavor now…..enjoy all year
Many people wonder how they can eat fresh, local produce in the dead of winter when the farmers’ markets are closed. Well, I’ve found that many aspects of eating local food require one to plan ahead, and this is no exception. If you want local blueberries in your pancakes in December then it’s up to you to freeze enough in the summer to last until the next berry season. And best yet, it’s EASY!!! (And better than buying berries in the off season from South America.)
4 Ways to Preserve Fresh Berries for the Winter
- Freeze unwashed berries in batches on a baking sheet and once they are frozen transfer them to a large zip lock back or other freezer-proof container. By freezing them unwashed and in a pan before adding them to the storage container, the berries will stay loose and you will be able to pull what you want for your recipe later. Wash the frozen berries with a quick rinse before adding to things like cereal, smoothies, pancakes, homemade muffins or plain yogurt. Frozen berries can also be used to make recipes like jams and pie.
- Make homemade jam that you either freeze or can. Pick Your Own. com offers simple, easy to follow recipes if you don;t already have one.
- Dehydrate berries whole or puree them first to make homemade fruit leathers (similar to fruit roll ups). You can use either a dehydrator or a regular oven on a very low temperature. The dehydrated whole berries can be eaten as a snack or added to foods like granola, oatmeal or yogurt.
- Make complete dishes with fresh berries and then freeze them, such as bluberry muffins, raspberry pancakes,or pancakes. Pancakes can be frozen separately on a cookie sheet and then put into a freezer bag, or stacked with waxed paper between them and then frozen.